A textural journey/journal to share

Enjoy the view  


“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin D Ro0sevelt.





This week in my studio I have finished a sea horse textile art work , “Sassy Sea horse ” pictured at the end of the post. In completing this I was inspired to think of a little ongoing project we can share.The idea is that I share with you some interesting textures, I will do this over a number of posts, texture that surrounds us and embraces us with its tactile conversations. My textile art work is inspired by life and I observe in layers of texture and colour.

In my creative mind these little experimentations and play times will become a beautiful reference journal for you to own.My plan is that over the next couple of months I will share small texture projects with you and these can be slowly added to your journal or however you wish to keep them. When your journal pages are completed and we have created 8-10 different textures we will make a cover for the album and add any embellishment our hearts desire to own a special reference book for future projects.

I would love some feed back, please let me know if you are interested in a ongoing project of simple textural ideas ? As this takes many hours for me to prepare and post I need to know there is interest to continue.

Our first two pages of the journal 

Page 1






1. Khadi cotton rag book I am using the 40 page block as that size suits me.I like to use cotton rag for its versatility and strength when stitched http://www.thethreadstudio.com/catalogue/exp/papers.htm

2. Felt or velvet or such fabric of your choice.

3.Melting fabrics.Most synthetics

4. Lace.or fabric of choice

5. Hand stitch thread.

6. Deli paper  http://www.thethreadstudio.com/catalogue/exp/papers.htm

7. Metallic fabric

8.Heat gun and its instructions :-)

9. Gold rub or similair

10. Free motion foot

11. Sewing machine

12. Machine embroidery threads

13. Fusible web

14. baking paper

15.Top stitch 80 machine needles


Page 1

As I wont be filling my Khadi paper rag book with samples I will remove the pages as I use them but as double pages.

If you wish remove the first page for experimneting ( if you choose you can adapt and fill the book with lots of lovely experimenting)


Fuse a layer of felt or such to the Khadi cotton rag as the first layer of the melting fabrics ( I have used velvet as I dont want the bottom layer to melt), most synthetics melt easily when a heat gun is applied. To fuse it I use a peeled layer of fusible web cut to the same size as the felt.It is fused with a hot iron and baking paper to protect the surface.


Follow through with  another 2-3 different melting fabrics these can be fused together with peeled fusible web in between each layer and baking paper to protect both the iron and the fabric.


Lay some cotton or wool  hand embroidery thread across the surface these wont melt.Metallic fabric when melted will also add depth and interest.


Complete your melting layer with some lace or any fabric similar.


Fuse all the layers together by layering with fusible web and covering the top layer with baking paper and then melting with a hot iron.


After it is fused use the free motion foot to embroider and when it is all stitched to your liking use a heat gun to melt  the fabric. Take care using the heat gun and use in open air the fumes can be quite strong. How much you melt it back is your choice.


Once melted I rub some gold finish over the lace which picks up the relief texture of  lace.


I am going to surround the melted fabrics with a frame cut from a piece of deli paper which will then be fused onto the cotton rag.To do this I lay the fusible web over the whole rag paper size and mark the size of the window to be cut. This is done by drawing on the fusible web around the out side edge of the melted fabric once the the fusible web is marked and cut use it for a template for the deli paper.


Peel the fusible web off the backing and lay over the melted fabric, the cut frame should fit around the outside edge of the melted fabric, repeat with the deli paper.Cover both layers with baking paper for protection and use a hot iron until fused flat to the rag cotton paper.


A little hand stitching to enhance and add another dimension and some patterned  machine stitching.


As  final layer I have added small velvet circles and green stemsIMG_8832-12


In this image  you can see the texture and depth and know there is so much more you can develop with this technique.A way to make it your own.

Page 2 


  1. Felt
  2. Yarn
  3. Hand stitch thread
  4. Metallic machine thread
  5. Sewing machine
  6. Free motion foot
  7. Khadi paper.
  8. Machine embroidery threads
  9. Sewing machine
  10. Hand needles
  11. Top stitch 80 machine needles
  12. Calico
  13. Felt, velvet or such



Take another double page from your Khadi rag book,  a fresh to page to start working page 2 on.



To start with cut a piece of calico or your choice of fabric that is approx. the size of the melting fabric on page one. Attach the  calico with a layer of peeled fusible web which is sandwiched between the calico and rag paper, fuse with hot iron and baking paper protecting the materials.


Place another piece of peeled fusible web the same size as calico onto the surface of the calico and make snippy sprinkles from a collection of threads etc. Fuse this to the calico again using baking paper and hot iron


Next I cut square/holes out of some hand dyed felt.You can use whatever fabric you wish each will give a different texture, sheer could be rather wonderful as could silk or velvet.



Stitching the felt to the surface of the rag aper creating little windows for the sprinkles to sparkle through.



I always believe a little hand stitching adds a depth try attaching some silk yarns with hand stitches.


To finish this textural piece I am filling the squares holes in with a long stitch. Not all sewing machines will allow you to do this, it is worth the experiment. Hold your machine foot on one edged and do a few free motion stitches in the one position and then stretch thread across to the other side of the window, by lifting the foot and carrying the thread across.




The final step with these textural experiments is to secure the pages together.I use double sided tape and then a machine pattern stitch to fix them together .So one page is the front the other attached to back, leaving two blank pages to be used next time .




The Sassy Seahorse 

This week in my studio I finished the seahorse art work below, have a close look at all the texture and think about how  and what you can use to create depth and movement.








I am teaching at “Threads and Tangles” where we will building up a textural background with hand dyed silk caps and hand painting our 3D butterflies. When finished this will be a framable art artpiece . There are only a few places left in the class and it is possibly the last time I teach in Melbourne until 2018.Come and join me for some fun and free motion embroidery.




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